After a historic vote gay adult Scout leaders will no longer be banned from the century-old Boy Scouts of America.
After a decision by the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee earlier this month, the Scouts' National Executive Board just voted moments ago to drop its decades-old ban on gay adult Scout leaders.
The vote was 45-12.
The Executive Committee adopted a resolution on July 10, after Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates in May called for the ban to be dropped.
Local scouting groups will be allowed to decide for themselves, and may continue the ban if they choose to do so, or eliminate it immediately.
In a statement, the Boy Scouts of America announced, "Today, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board ratified a resolution that removes the national restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees. The resolution is effective immediately. Of those present and voting, 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution."
"Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders, and religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality. This change allows Scouting's members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families. This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.
"Moving forward, we will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth, helping them grow into good, strong citizens. By focusing on the goals that unite us, we are able to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve."
Zach Wahls, the co-founder and executive director of Scouts for Equality, who has been working for several years to move the Scouts to positions of equality, on a live public video chat also announced the news, and observed the 79 percent adoption rate in tonight's vote was even greater than in previous votes. Wahls hit the spotlight several years ago when, at the age of 19, stood up for LGBT equality, explaining to the Iowa House of Representatives the sexual orientation of his parents had zero effect on his character.
UPDATE I: 7:33 PM EDT -
UPDATE II: 7:35 PM EDT -
BRB calling my moms.
â€” Zacharia Wahls (@ZachWahls) July 27, 2015
This is a breaking news story and may be updated.
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